Giant robotic dinosaurs gear up for Age of the Dinosaurs blockbuster at the Ulster Museum

By Culture24 Reporter | 09 May 2012
a photo of a robotic dinosaur being winched into place in a museum
Steve Suttle, from the Natural History Museum, hoists up the head of the Tarbosaurus© Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland. Picture by Darren Kidd/
As most younger museum visitors know, any big dinosaur exhibition worth its salt must have a mechanically driven  “animatronic” dinosaur or two to enthral both kids and parents alike.

Faithfully adhering to this recent post-Jurassic Park tradition, and ahead of its summer dinosaur blockbuster Age of the Dinosaur, the Ulster Museum has spent the past week installing a huge, 1.5 tonne animatronic Tarbosaurus into its exhibition halls – with a little help from animatronic experts at The Natural History Museum.

The enormous hunter, which was a close relative of T-Rex and a top predator of the Jurassic age, is just one of seven moving creatures featured in the touring exhibition opening for a four-month spell from May 19.
More than 60 unique specimens from the Natural History Museum join the magnificent mechanical seven together with many objects from the Ulster Museum’s own extensive dinosaur collections.

Dr Mike Simms, Curator of Palaeontology at the Ulster Museum, said the installation of the 3.5-metre-high robotic predator was “quite a challenge” but declared the end result to be “fantastic”.
“I have no doubt visitors to the exhibition will be thrilled by it,” he added. “This exhibition is an amazing sensory experience and will transport visitors back to the days of the dinosaur to discover more about these fascinating creatures and their diverse environments.”

The museum has also released details of a new kids’ discovery zone called Discover Dinosaurs. It will give youngsters the opportunity to handle fossil specimens including leg bones, skulls and dinosaur eggs from National Museums Northern Ireland’s collections and take part in dino fossil digs.
  • Age of the Dinosaurs May 19 - September 16. Due to anticipated high demand, the Ulster Museum will open on Mondays during July and August.  Advance booking of tickets and timeslots is recommended and can be booked online at      

More pictures:

a photo of a robotic dinosaur being winched into place in a museum
© Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland. Picture by Darren Kidd/

a photo of two men levering a robotic dinosaur into position using hoists and winches
© Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland. Picture by Darren Kidd/

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